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Tasty Tuesday [IS BACK!]: M.A.’s Coconut Cake

December 28, 2010

I had a major craving for coconut cake on Christmas so I went to work concocting my own recipe! I combined the talents of Paula Deen and Bobby Flay to create a delicious cake that is all my own.

Coconut Cake:

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

Coconut Custard:

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coconut Filling:

  • 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above), cold
  • 3/4 cup very cold heavy cream

Coconut Buttercream:

  • 2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 bag confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above) (cold)
  • Pinch  salt
  • vanilla extract

How it’s made:

I highly recommend making the coconut custard first. (you may be wondering if you can make the cake without it, the answer is “sure, be my guest, but you won’t a have a coconut cake :(” I imagine it would be more like a vanilla cake with cream .) The custard is a quick process and you’ve got to be on your toes the whole time. First Combine the milks in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Its important that you stir the milks constantly so they don’t burn. Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

Next, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and coconut milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.

Now on to the cake filling: Whip the heavy whipping cream until it becomes thick and peaks form. Add the custard and mix with a spatula. If you are not ready to use it, cover the bowl and refrigerate it.

For the coconut buttercream frosting: Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut custard, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined and smooth. If you worry about the thickness of the frosting you can add coconut milk to lighten it up. If you are not ready to use it, cover the bowl and refrigerate it.

Now we’re ready to ice the cake! I like to put a dab of icing in the center of the plate to hold the first layer down as I’m icing it. Coconut cakes are known for being very moist, so to add moisture to the cake I use a tip I learned from my baking and blogging hero, Bakerella. Pour about a half cup of milk into a small shallow dish, and use a basting brush to brush the milk on top of each layer. Then use the coconut filling to ice in between the layers and the buttercream to ice the sides and top. Sprinkle flaked coconut on the sides and top, and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tammy Borden permalink
    December 28, 2010 12:05 PM

    Now this is the best cake ever.!!!

  2. December 28, 2010 9:30 PM

    You are too cute! And looking more and more like your gorgeous mom. :) This post reminded me of the time when I made your family a coconut cake for Christmas. Love y’all!

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